This post is a chance to meet an author I’ve never interviewed before now, Vincent Morone. He’s here to talk about his heart book, the one that was written with pure love, Torn Away
Torn Away is an award winner, as well. It won first at the SRWA Great Beginnings contest.
Jolie: Vincent, you immediately went to Torn when you were asked which of your books was your favorite, why is that?
Vincent: I’d started out writing young adult/fantasy books and had started to play with more mature themes. I’d done a book called Just Breathe that did really well, which was much darker than anything I’d done, so I wanted to continue on that path. I really wanted to explore certain concepts. What happens when you’re a victim of child abuse. What it takes to show a boy how to become a man, and what is it like to have everyone think you’re guilty of a horrible crime that you didn’t do. I wanted to dig into issues such as teaching a boy that there’s no shame in crying, even if you’re a big, tough former marine. That when you make a mistake, a man owns up to it and apologizes, and make amends. I wanted to show how love of family can heal even the deepest of wounds.
I knew going in it was going to be an emotional book. Plus, the secrets behind it don’t get spilled out until the 3rd book in the series, which I’m currently writing. Each book you’d get an ending, with a hint of what’s to come. But there was just something about these characters, about Drew and Cole, with their self loathing, and ability to love despite everything they’ve been through that called to me.
Jolie: Man, you really went deep on this one. What’s the story?
Vincent: Drew Duncan must return to his home town of Ember Falls after he learns one of his sisters was murdered. He hasn’t seen them in nearly a decade, since he was thrown in prison in his senior year of high school. After he and his high school girl friend got into an argument at a dance, he stormed off and then she disappeared. Her body was never found, but he was still charged with her murder.
The trial never came and eventually he was released. He left town, joined the marines and hasn’t spoken to either sister since. He hates himself for leaving, but the fact was, he wasn’t given a choice.
Now he has to try and get his surviving sister to forgive him, and earn the trust of Kelli’s 8 year old son Cole. Cole trembles every time Drew steps into the room, convinced it’s just a matter of time before the large man with the deadly looking black phoenix tattoo beats him senseless. But slowly, Cole finds himself wanting to trust his uncle. So far, his uncle has played it straight with him. Drew promised that he would protect Cole, but who will protect Drew?
Jolie: As an author, what’s your feeling about this book in particular? Where does it stand with you?
Vincent: It’s definitely the best book I’ve ever written. It’s got the most complex plot, the most emotional punch and the best writing I’ve ever done. In the past, my male main characters tended to be very boy-next-doorish.
With Drew, I took a kid who bullied one of the other characters when he was a kid, who smokes at the beginning, and let him come alive. I think book 2 might be better, but it had to start with book 1.
Jolie: The story has to start at the beginning for the rest of it to unfold. What put you in the place to write such a deep story? Where did this one come from?
Vincent: I read a story about someone who spent nearly 2 years in jail awaiting trial. They ended up dropping the charges. That’s where the ball started to roll.
I don’t remember in the story what he was arrested for, but I imagined what it would be like to have been arrested for a crime you didn’t commit, and even though you get out, you think everyone thinks you’re guilty.
I, also, wanted to do a series of three books, one where all the people surrounding a young boy come together and put him first. This gave me my starting point for Drew Duncan, his nephew Cole and their story in Torn Away.
Jolie: I love this theme for your book. These kinds of books are the kinds that really make a difference in our lives. Thanks for joining us today, Vincent. You can pick up a copy of Torn Away here: